May 1, 2020 / 6:22 AM / a month ago

UK watchdog goes to court to clarify coronavirus business insurance

LONDON, May 1 (Reuters) - Britain’s financial watchdog said it would urgently ask the courts to clarify uncertainty over the inability of some insurance customers to obtain compensation for disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

A national lockdown to fight the pandemic has forced many companies to temporarily suspend operations and furlough staff.

The Financial Conduct Authority said it was seeking a declaration from the court due to continuing concerns about the lack of clarity and certainty for some customers making business interruption claims, and the basis on which some firms are making decisions in relation to claims. “This will assist both insurers and the insured. It will not determine how much is payable under individual policies, but will provide the basis for doing so,” the FCA said in a statement on Friday.

The FCA also set out measures to support consumers and businesses who hold insurance products and who are facing other issues as a result of coronavirus.

“The package of measures sets out the FCA’s expectations that insurance firms should consider whether their products still offer value to customers in the current situation and whether they can be doing more for those suffering a financial impact because of coronavirus,” the watchdog said. (Reporting by Huw Jones; editing by Carolyn Cohn)

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